Thursday, December 4, 2014

God places the lonely in families - Psalm 68:6

Wednesdays are my usual day off.  And I take them very seriously.  Like that time when I left the house for the first time around 1:30 to go buy some chili cheese Fritos.  (For a salad.  Not for my snack.)  And I had on some fairly unattractive pants and nap time hair.  And compared to the fancily dressed mom  in the dairy section, I felt ashamed.

But not today.  As my plans for laziness and assorted shopping trips was trumped by a surprise request.... when fireman Dave called from the station and said he needed a favor .... and I was guessing a trip to the grocery store or possibly another sinus headache where he needed an emergency decongestant and for me to feel sorry for him. 

But it was so much better than that.  Today I was asked to step in as the surprise/unexpected/ and for the most part, unfamiliar babysitter to the most adorable 6 month old baby girl of another firefighter.  Just for a short time, but long enough for me to fall in baby love all over again.   And it was all glorious and easy babysitting-  except for when the old dog that they forgot to tell me about decided I didn't belong in there holding his baby.  But other than that, it was all sweet and angel like with her and I plan to ask Santa for one just like her for Christmas this year.

But here's what I heard from the angel baby's mom and dad.... from both of them... at two separate times.  They both told me that their  house is a wreck and they hated for me to see it.  Hated for me to see what?  What raising kids and loving and living together really look like?  Because I already know.  Around here all our togetherness is messy with a frosting of dog hair and dirty laundry. 

But here's what I would say to this sweet couple about this, that and all the dirty things that go along with raising a family.  So young parents everywhere listen up.  And even those of us who have passed the toddler toys and motorized swing stage of life, we need to listen, too.  Especially me -  who thinks our house needs to look like a magazine spread in Southern Living at all times  - complete with the smell of fresh baked goods in the air. 

.....I thought I might be bored today.  But then an opportunity appeared and I found myself holding your precious little one who turned out to be sweeter than a piece of chocolate cake.  And we all know there's nothing like the sweetness of a baby to erase everything else that seemed important for a while - and show us that it wasn't nearly so important after all.

And your home is lovely and more than anything, filled with signs of a growing family.  I call it the primary colors stage of life when your home furnishings consist of all things that make sounds and are made of hard plastic or fake stuffed animal fur.  But it's all beautiful in the big picture of making a home and growing children in comfort and love of place.  In safety and knowledge that they belong just as much as that expensive thing that they just knocked off the shelf and thought it might make you mad.  But it didn't. 

And trust?  .... like today when I already knew dad, but not mom  - and the first time we met was in your living room with me holding your baby.  And locking your dog in your  bedroom to save myself.  Today reminded me of the time my oldest got stuck up in the top of the McDonald's play-land and was hysterical beyond all toddler reason.   So I had a choice to make.  There I was down below holding kid 2, just an infant.  And kid 1 losing control stuck inside a hamburger.   It was a confusing time for us all.  And as a new mom I had stranger danger on the mind.  But at that particular moment courage took over and I trusted a sweet lady I had never seen before and I don't think I have since.  A lady who held out her arms for kid 2 and gave me confidence to climb Mt. McDonald's to save a life.  And right then, maybe she saved me.  She showed me that there is good all around and there are people everywhere who want to help.  

And I learned more than anything that day as with hundreds more to come... that I can't do this alone.  I need you and you and you as a community to raise these kids alongside me to get this job done.  

Which brings me thoughts of last week's post of worry and tell-all tales of the rough time I'm having around here now as a mom.  This blog has, it seems, become the National Enquirer of Kristi's life - where you can read all about my doubts, my mistakes and my fears - including but not limited to - fear of mom failure, and mid life weight gain around my middle. 

But Thanksgiving brought a vacation that was much needed.  A trip surrounded by family, who for a few days, took the burden off of me and the worry away from me, and stepped in to show my surly teen some love.  And by doing that, showed me the same.  

And this is my husband's family - technically - as some of y'all know I've been separated from mine for some time.  And there is a constant feeling of loneliness and loss in that area.  But when I looked around the room at those surrounding me on our trip, I knew what is was to be thankful for those little times that bring hope and assurance back close to us.  

And I couldn't help but think about one tiny part of a bigger scripture in the Psalms.  

 Psalm 68:6
God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.......

And this little phrase, in it's sweet simplicity, is a promise that has continually been fulfilled to me over the years by a faithful God who has seen my need to be taken in.

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